Spalding Fly Predator Product Review
It’s that wonderful time of year again. The days are getting cooler and you can practically smell fall in the air. It’s a time that many of us horse people eagerly look forward to. Though the daylight hours will soon grow shorter, the weather right now is usually ideal for riding or just spending time at the barn. Another welcome sight for horse people (and of course, for horses) in the fall is the gradual disappearance of flies and other biting insects. Don’t you just love saying goodbye to them?
And now that fly season is almost over, I’d like to write a review of a new product I tried this year–Fly Predators from a company called Spalding. You may remember me writing about them last spring when I first started the program.
During late fall of last year, Spalding contacted me and asked if I’d like to try the fly predators out. A natural and non-toxic fly control program? Hello? Of course I would! The company sent me the questionnaire they send to each of their customers which would help determine the exact number of fly predators I would need. They factor in how many horses and other animals as well as how much pasture space you have in order to come up with this number.
Then in March of this year, I received my first highly-anticipated shipment of fly predators. I really had no idea of what to expect, but when I opened the small box, I found a plastic bag containing wood shavings, lots of small larva, and a few tiny black insects which resembled large gnats prowling about. So those were the fly predators? They certainly didn’t look like they would be capable of too much destruction.
But I carefully read the instructions on the package and waited until more insects had hatched. Then I set out to distribute them around my pasture. I will admit that I really had no idea what I was doing the first time. I knew the fly predators needed to be released near manure (which is where flies lay their eggs) and though I regularly clean up manure from my pasture, I left a few piles in place and poured the insects and larva on top.
I was later told (by some of my knowledgeable blog followers) that the fly predators should NOT be put on top of manure. The directions didn’t say this directly, but the following month, I instead placed the fly predators near piles of manure or where manure HAD been.
I had high hopes for these little critters, but was still somewhat skeptical. I wanted to see all the flies around my farm immediately obliterated to smithereens, but I’m sorry to say that did not happen.
What I instead witnessed was a gradual decline in the fly population over time though. Each month, I received my new shipment of fly predators. I continued to distribute them around the pasture, in my barn, and near the giant compost pile behind the barn, and little by little, I did see a difference.
Did the flies ever completely disappear? No.
But there was a difference. Spalding will even tell you that no fly control program, including theirs, is capable of getting rid of 100% of the fly population on a farm (but we all knew this, right?)
Perhaps the positive results were even slower to appear than normal since we had record-breaking rainfall last spring in Oklahoma. In May alone, we received over 14 inches of rain. It was ridiculous. You can probably imagine what rain does to the effectiveness of the fly predators. Wet conditions are optimal for fly reproduction, so more rain ultimately means more flies. Not to mention, on at least two occasions, we received HEAVY rains the day after I had put my precious fly predators out. It’s doubtful that those little buggers know how to swim. . .
But anyhow, despite all of this, I really feel like the fly predators did work.
And in case you’re still wondering how the heck these little insects can kill flies, here’s what Spalding says on their website:
Fly Predators are nature’s own enemy of all common manure and rotting organic matter breeding pest flies, including the common house fly, horn fly, biting stable fly and lesser house fly. In the natural environment Fly Predators serve as a major check of pest fly populations by destroying the next generation of flies in their immature pupa (cocoon) stage. Fly Predators are nature’s own enemy of all common manure and rotting organic matter breeding pest flies, including the common house fly, horn fly, biting stable fly and lesser house flyFly Predators are tiny, completely biteless and stingless. They never become a pest themselves. Because of their small size and the fact they live their entire life cycle on or near manure (where the pest fly pupa are typically found), Fly Predators go virtually unnoticed.
The key factor for success in using the fly predators is starting early. If you order them, you need to do it before spring hits. You can even pre-order them right now. Spalding will send you a questionnaire and then devise a shipment schedule tailored to your specific needs (mine was every four weeks). Also, if you have cattle or a large number of other livestock near your horse pasture, the fly predators may not be able to keep up, so they may not be a viable option for you.
It’s up to you if you would like to try them out and decide for yourself!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to order the fly predators or other products from Spalding, I would greatly appreciate it if you used the links from my website. This helps me earn a small percentage from sales while costing you nothing extra!